#13: Why I am making Memphis a Mental Healthcare Directory
Concern for mental healthcare picks up speed, though actionable outcomes can feel few and far between, particularly in Memphis, a Tennessee city in what Mid-South region providers nicknamed a Mental Health Food Desert, or region without adequate enough access to mental health care. The longer my independent search validates that nickname, the greater determined I become to create Memphis' first provider directory explicitly dedicated to Mental Healthcare and services for stigmatized identities.
In my monthly Barnes & Noble bookstore visit, I stood encouraged at first sight of Memphis magazine's June 2018 edition cover: “2018’s Top Doctors” and “over 200 doctors” and “more than 55 specialties.” I stood corrected when my best hopes for pages of psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, nurse practitioners, primary therapists, dietitian-nutritionists, counseling centers, and other mental healthcare-focused services for the outpatient, intensive-outpatient, partial hospitalization, residential and inpatient level was met with one a single psychiatry name in the psychiatry category. Either there are not top doctors in mental healthcare in Memphis, or there is a major discrepancy in the provider identification and reporting process.
Mental health will always contribute to an individual's holistic wellness or unwellness, regardless of a loud majority's instinctual urge to deny what valid hurtings shame us into ignoring unmet needs. Memphis city moral - a grit and grind culture - has taken off quite exponentially, and that is wonderful, but grit and grind is unsustainable without minding what brain cues our grit and grind. Whatever strengths our growing metropolis offers to our world runs the risk of running dry without a continual maintenance, and because we Memphians are what makes our city strong, we must resolve to secure adequate mental care services for ourselves. I cannot convince anyone to take care of him/herself, but I can provide us with a list of opportunities to support that choice.
Photography © kendall crouther